Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Situation getting dicey with Matsuzaka

In a development that has surprised absolutely no one the negotiations between the Red Sox and uberagent Scott Borass regarding the services of Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka are coming down to the final hours.

The deadline for a deal is midnight Thursday but it has been widely reported that the Sox would like to get the deal done Wednesday so that 'Dice-K' (god I hate that cheesy nickname) could be flown to Beantown and take his physical before the deadline passed.

But with myriad stories floating around now about the likelihood of the deal getting done figuring out which way this thing is gonna go down is like trying to pick a presidential candidate based on the debates.

Either the two sides are so far apart due to Boras' insistence on an exorbitant contract that it is clear the 26-year-old phenom will head back to his Seibu team...

...or there is no way the Sox, MLB, the country of Japan, and its proud prodigal son won't allow this deal to go through. I prefer to subscribe to this belief.

But it all depends on who you trust in this political spin-zone style courtship.

Here's the skinny. The Sox paid that astronomical fee ($51.1 million) just to be able to negotiate with the hard throwing right hander, who has a variety of pitches that make hitters look silly but has never thrown a ball in a major league game. Boston feels that the posting fee should be factored into the total salary, even though Matsuzaka's Japanese team, the Seibu Lions, will receive that entire sum if he signs. Factor in what they would have paid him about $8-10 mil per year for 3 or 4 years, and you're talking about a total investment in the neighborhood of $80-100 million bucks, American.

Not bad for a kid who has never stepped foot in an MLB stadium.

But Borass, aka Drew Rosenhaus without the oily hair & expensive suits, is a man who believes in getting every penny for his client, and in turn his own coffers. He looks at the situation like the posting fee has nothing to do with Matsuzaka's value because all that money goes to his team, not him. Therefore he is in need of a contract that is commensurate of his value as a front-line major league starter.

He's talking 6 years at about $16 million per as a starting point.

That would mean in order to sign this kid, who could turn out to be the next Pedro Martinez, or the next Hideki Irabu, Boston would have to shell out in excess of $150 million dollars.

Now I'm all for guys getting theirs, especially when its the owners footing the bill cause the fans will buy all the Red Sox shit no matter who's on the team, but when you're seriously asking a storied franchise to shell out that kind of dough for a guy they've barely ever met never mind who hasn't pitched for a major league club is absolutely insane.

I think this is all a bunch of preening and posturing by Boras. Boston seems determined to sign this kid, going to the extreme measure of flying Theo & Luccinino out to LA on John Henry's private jet in order to make a second offer to Team Matsuzaka, this despite not receiving a counter proposal on their first offer.

They vow to have him on their team next year, and he wants to play in the major leagues.

Something tells me Dice-K is going to have the last word on this situation, and hopefully it will be

"I want to pitch for the Boston Red Sox. Boras got to hell!"

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